John Paris, Esq.


Trustee Since 2021

John Paris joined the board of trustees in 2021 and currently serves on the Education & Research Committee. For more than 30 years, John has acted as a trusted partner and quarterback for his clients, both public and private, in various stages of growth. He has extensive experience representing strategic investors, venture capital and private equity firms in transactions and investments. John counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions; strategic joint ventures, licensing and corporate finance; securities offerings; SEC compliance; and general corporate matters. He is the chair of Williams Mullen’s Private Equity Practice, vice chair of the Corporate Section and chair of the Emerging Technology Practice. John is one of two co-founders of the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame and 757 Angels, the first angel group in the Hampton Roads area. In addition to his roles with the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame and the 757 Angels, John serves as a member of the boards of directors for Virginia Beach Vision and Tidewater Venture Mentors. He is a board member and former president of the Virginia Venture Capital Forum, and he was formerly on the board of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads. John is an adjunct professor at the William & Mary Law School, where he teaches a class on Entrepreneurship and the Law. A frequent speaker, he lectures on M&A transactions, federal and state securities law, funding, venture capital and private equity topics. He has been ranked by Chambers USA for Corporate/M&A Law (2019); listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Tax Law and Corporate Law (2011-present); and listed in Virginia Super Lawyers for Securities & Corporate Finance (2010-present). He has also been listed as one of the Top Lawyers of Virginia by CoVa Biz Magazine (2017-present) and Martindale-Hubbell has rated him an AV attorney, its highest rating available. John is also listed among the “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business magazine (2020). John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984.